Heading into the season, many fantasy football writers viewed Jake Locker as a possible sleeper option as a backup quarterback with the potential to be a No. 1 option by the middle of the season.
Through two weeks, Locker has had a fairly minimal impact on the fantasy landscape, throwing for right around 200 yards and a touchdown each week, while watching his own percentage in ESPN fantasy leagues hold at 7.2.
Although it is unlikely that those with elite quarterbacks will rush to move Locker into starting spots, those with question marks at the position would be well served to add the Tennessee Titans QB, at the very least as a serviceable spot starter down the road.
Heading into Week 3 and going up against the Detroit Lions, Locker is in prime position to have his first breakout performance for the following five reasons.
1. Facing a Weak Lions Secondary
Through two weeks, quarterbacks have posted a combined 106.5 quarterback rating against the Lions defense, the sixth-highest rating in the league.
Though Detroit has a strong defensive line, its secondary is full of question marks and is vulnerable against a Titans passing attack that has the potential to break out after struggling a bit against San Diego last Sunday.
If Locker is going to take the next step in his development, he will need to take advantage of the opportunities that will undoubtedly come against the Detroit defense.
2. Lack of a Running Game
Chris Johnson's struggles early this season have been pretty well documented.
The Titans currently sit in 32nd in total rushing yards, with Johnson carrying the football only 19 times for 21 yards through two games.
Facing a tough defensive line with a rather weak run-blocking offensive line, expect Locker to rack up the pass attempts as the Titans look to use the passing game to set up the running game.
3. The Titans Will Need to Pass to Keep Up With the Lions
With a Titans defense that has allowed 38 points in each of its first two games facing a potent Detroit Lions offense, the Titans will almost certainly need to score 30 points if they hope to come away with a win on Sunday.
Combined with a struggling running game, this will likely leave the burden of getting down the field and putting the ball into the end zone on Locker, giving him more opportunities than most quarterbacks to put points on the board for your fantasy team.
If the Titans find themselves in a shootout on Sunday, it will give Locker an even greater chance to have a big day.
4. All of His Receiving Options are Healthy
For the first time this season, the Titans will have all of their options playing without limitations.
A week after Kenny Britt made his season debut and Nate Washington missed the majority of practices, the two receivers will be fully active against the Lions and should provide Locker with his first opportunity to have potential difference-makers lined up out wide.
Though it is unlikely that Britt will be ready to dominate in just his second game back, his presence on the field should serve as a distraction that could free up bigger plays for players like Washington, Jared Cook, Kendall Wright and Damian Williams.
5. Ability to Create Big Plays
Though Locker will at times display the inaccuracy that had some scouts questioning his readiness to be a starter, he also brings a strong arm and elite athleticism, which give him opportunity to create a long touchdown on almost any snap.
Despite his only throwing for two touchdowns this year, Locker's playmaking ability can be seen in his first touchdown pass on the year, a 27-yard play to Nate Washington in which Locker was able to drop the ball in to Washington in stride while a defender was attempting to wrap him up around the chest.
With the amount of attempts Locker is likely to see against Detroit, the odds are in his favor that he will at least have a couple passes that will go for big yardage and that he will put up big fantasy football points for your team.